Creating a home that serves more than function or utility takes time. A home that meets physical, physiological and emotional needs is a feat, especially when furniture is just furniture without some inspiration in how it is used. Jordan Carlson has made her Seattle, WA apartment not just a place in which she lives, but a place where she can thrive and enjoy the company of others.
Jordan grew up in Northern California and lived all over the country before moving to Seattle. She then left Seattle for a number of years to pursue a graphic design degree in New York. She returned two years ago and has found it to be as much her home now as it was when she left. In moving back to the Pacific Northwest, Jordan was looking for an apartment that had natural light to combat the overcast days. She also needed to find a home in a densely populated area. After living in New York City for four years without a car, having a place within walking distance to most things was an important element in her search. Jordan found this incredible 1,000-square-foot, early 1900s apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. After emailing the landlord four times about seeing a space she found on Craigslist, she was finally able to tour it and immediately decided to call it her home.
Jordan’s eclectic aesthetic is a lovely mix of Victorian, industrial, mid-century, minimal and modern. Her home isn’t just for herself to enjoy, and since the first walk-through, she has seen the space as a place to host and welcome others. “My home has been created around the value of creating space, of bringing people together, of hospitality (versus simply entertaining),” Jordan says. “My home is absolutely an aesthetic endeavor, and personally, day in and day out, I need it to be a place that offers calm and respite. But I hope it’s that for others as well. I desire it to be a place of joy, laughter, restoration, healing, discovery, and the list goes on.” Jordan’s restful, cool and curated home is a gorgeous representation of her caring and welcoming spirit.
Photography by Brooke Fitts
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Jordan's home is a sophisticated, eclectic mix of materials, textures and styles. The velvet Victorian sofa, industrial drawer coffee table and mid-century lounge chair each have a significant presence in the space while combining beautifully together.
"My living room basically exemplifies my basic philosophy/value toward most items I purchase, whether it's my decor or my clothes or my experiences: it's a balance. I am willing to invest in something that I believe is beautiful, well designed, and well crafted, but it will likely be next to a Craigslist or Target find," Jordan says. "I also find this process of discovery to be what makes a home visually interesting. Sometimes you simply need a piece of furniture to fill a need but whenever possible, I try and be intentional about the decisions; I don't want to circle through furniture, and I haven't."
Jordan's restful home is effortlessly styled with pieces that are significant and beautiful to her.
"My style really is eclectic, but not in an extreme way. I love a mixture of aesthetics: both mid-century modern and more industrial pieces have a significant place, but I also value warmth, texture, and classic/clean lines," Jordan says. "I love crafted pieces and original artwork. There's nothing like a hand-me-down that carries a story that's been handed down. All of these are experienced within my home."
Jordan Carlson in her bright Seattle living room.
"I buy things I really like and I make them work...and I live with them for a long time. This apartment didn't just come together when I moved here a year and a half ago; it's been a slow, fun process over years," Jordan says.
Jordan's lovely details and vignettes in her home finish each space perfectly.
Jordan's goal of curating a relaxing space for family and friends is found in decorative moments.
The entry from the front door includes a simple hairpin console that Jordan made with the help of her friend, Erick from
Plank & Grain
, to hold her keys. The chalkboard paint wall in the landing is the one wall she didn't paint over when she moved in.
"What I love most about my home is..."
The dining room gets the most guests. Jordan's friends even ask to host their own events in the space.
The large windows in the dining room make the perfect environment for gathering friends together. The custom light fixture is a minimal, modern and elegant addition to the room. "I have long been a fan of the Brooklyn company, Workstead; they make incredibly designed products but are unfortunately out of my price range. So...my friend Dave was up for the challenge of creating a fixture for me that was inspired by the original and I'm thrilled with it. When asked, I'm always quick to give original design credit to Workstead, but am abundantly thankful [for] the skill and resourcefulness of my friend," Jordan says.
"I looked for quite some time for a piece for this area. While wanting storage, I also wanted something that could serve as an initial focal point... and in the end, got this dresser at Land of Nod -- yes, the children's store. Just goes to show, you never know where you'll find something," Jordan says.
"Adjacent to the dining table is a huge metal 'sideboard' that I've had for years, but was also in storage while I was in NYC. This was originally in the kitchen of a Southern California university where my uncle worked. When they were getting rid of it, he acquired it for his art studio. Decades later, he was getting rid of it and I asked my parents if they would please, please keep it for me until I had a place to put it. Amazingly, they agreed. It's made an appearance in three different homes now, each in a different space (kitchen, entry, and now dining room). I love it. During dinner parties, that space is maximized by holding drinks or dinner platters," Jordan says.
The credenza is adorned with a blown-up photograph of Jordan's grandparents, a vintage lamp, and pretty details.
"I am taken by the beautiful little 'sculptures' that can be found in nature and unintentionally, and found myself with this mini collection. Days after seeing this little display, my four-year-old friend Aven gave me the shell to include in the beauties," Jordan says.
Jordan's kitchen walls are filled with a collection of artwork on both sides of the window.
Jordan's bedroom is relaxed and refined. The dark grey accent wall behind her bed creates interest and contrast.
"I place a high value on my common areas being welcoming and conducive to conversation. Therefore, my TV is on a cart that lives in the closet unless it comes out for movie-watching, and my large computer (as graphic designers have) is set up in my bedroom. I still stand by these decisions made when I first moved in, but I do find this rest/work dual function of my bedroom to be challenging. I still play with ideas to help remedy this, like the possibility of a work "wardrobe," where my computer/office could be closed up," Jordan says.
"I was fortunate that I came into this apartment with the majority of pieces that I needed. While there are still items that I want to tweak, I felt pretty settled within weeks," Jordan says.
Jordan's guest bedroom is bright and calm with a mostly white palette.
"This room is basically all white, with very, very little in it...and I love it. The morning light is amazing and I find it so calming."
"The second bedroom didn't have a closet, so based on a beautiful, expensive wardrobe I saw online, I went to IKEA and purchased their simplest, white, PAX wardrobe and hired a friend to build out my vision [to] raise the wardrobe with wood legs so that suitcases or other items can slide underneath and adding shelves to the side. Once he built out the unit for me, I had a couple sets of CB2 wall hooks and used two of them as oversized door knobs," Jordan says.
Jordan on the steps of her lovely home.
Jordan's floor plan.